Your bedroom is your space at uni (or part of it if you live in an American college style dorm). It’s where you sleep, where you’ll sometimes work, where you’ll unwind with a book, game or hobby and sometimes where you’ll share laughs love and memories with friends, family, fraternal/sororal relations or significant others. So you should take time to make it your own right?
Okay, some of the rules (particularly in private or university managed houses) usually disallow you from glueing stuff to the walls or customising your furniture to within an inch of it’s life, there are usually a few small mercies we’re allowed to achieve.
Build a Photo Wall
The Many Memories of a fellow housemate
Everything seems to have a camera in it these days, with some people never failing to miss an opportunity to get that amazing selfie. Of course our phones, computers, tablets and digital photo frame can show us these memories so long as you have power, and storage space somewhere (and an internet connection if it’s in the cloud).
So why not go lo-tech and create a good old photo wall?These can be anything from lightweight custom canvases to an arrangement of favourite band posters, to simple 4 x 6″ (10 x 15cm) prints collaged together on a pinboard or tacked up on your wall with temporary adhesive (like a certain coloured tac).
Sites like Snapfish often offer free prints alongside regular orders, with HP branded products such as laptops often offering shortcuts to the Snapfish site. For US customers anywhere in the world TargetPhoto offer a printing service that you can have shipped anywhere or pick them up at your local Target store (if you have one). If you’re reading this in October 2016, they even have an offer on for the next 2 days for shipped photos, simply use the code “OCTPRINT” to get 25% off (Not Sponsered 😉 ). If you’re one of my Canadian (or US) readers, there’s also the online only Posterjack. If you’re a UK or Europe customer, don’t forget online shops such as Photobox offer great deals too as well as most Jessops and Boots shops in the UK often offering a short wait photo printing service that can be developed from SD Card, Optical Disk or good old film.
Set up Some Lights
Having lights up all year is another excuse not to have to unravel them again at Christmas.
This one is commonly associated with girls – possibly due to the various shapes, but I think there’s nothing wrong with any person having lights set up. Be it fairy style lights similar to what you have on a Christmas tree to rope lighting found at your nearest electronics shop. If you have screws already embedded in your wall (if not, check with your landlords first!!!) , why not recycle their use with a hung up neon sign?
Usually with a little inexpensive touch, you can create a little charm to your space, though if you’re sharing with someone, best to check with them first before you turn your room into a mini Blackpool or Las Vegas.
Add Some Inspiration
My old quotes in Year 1.
Sometimes, the wise words of others can serve as inspiration during troubled times or when you’re stuck on an assignment. Having quotes in your room, whether shop bought or printed yourself, much like your photo wall are a good way to show off what keeps you ticking and can often help remind us who were are and what we connect with.
I myself have had a number of quotes from Churchill’s famous “Let us Go Forward” poster, epiphanies that have come to me on nights out (or in) to quotes from calendars and programs with words of wisdom from writers and scholars past.
Whether it’s a holy book verse, a well known saying or something out of literature, add a little cultural touch to the walls you haven’t covered in pictures. As you complete your assignments, you may even find some great ones targeted at your work, or useful for a later project, so stick these somewhere safe too! If you can’t stick anything up, procure a whiteboard and write yourself a new one every week or month.
Adorn With Trinkets
These double shotglasses had more than one way of providing merriment.
Thankfully as students, most places come furnished to some degree, saving you a large amounts on item cost. However, this not being your own furniture, means you need to think of other ways to inject your personality into your temporary abode. To complement your walls of pictures and posters, it’s always worth bringing along some ornaments to uni or showing off stuff you’ve found whilst out shopping or exploring during term time. Be this a Newton’s Cradle you found in a retro shop (a favourite of my halls bedroom), some fossils and pebbles you found on a beach trip, ornaments you brought back from a holiday down to your super rare guitar you’ve had since you first learned to play in school. These if anything are the main focus on presenting your personal domain as, well, yours.
Social Animal? Associate Your Lair
My original games/cinema/work setup in the second half of my first year.
If you live in a communal space without a set common room, you can make people identify a place as yours with the psychological art of association. For instance, in the film ‘Bad Neighbours’ Teddy’s room in the fraternity house was associated as “The Lion’s Den” (or Tiger if you’d prefer to follow the picture!) and was the central safehouse and secondary point of control for powering the party system.
Likewise in my own experience in halls, we often created our own entertainment space and all had our own ‘function’ style rooms in addition to the common kitchen, using our environment to our advantage. For instance my friend Pete’s room was the second biggest on the floor and so was used for many night out activities, Xbox 360 gaming as well as spare time hang out space, whilst my other friends Craig and Sam were the gaming spaces for Playstation 3 and 1/2 respectively. Being the tech geek I was the alternate Xbox room or film night space (having a laptop, monitor and dual speaker system helped) for larger numbers, whilst the “girls floor” corridor was used for smaller group settings.
If you and your friends need somewhere to hang and don’t fancy hitting the town and party houses, play to your strengths and offer to host your low-key activities and hopefully get chance to make friends and attend others too.
A Comfortable Workspace
My bedroom workspace today.
One thing you might need to do at some point is of course your assignments and if you don’t want to spend your time in the library or study space, your room is a great place to get on with it. Of course not everyone likes to spend all of their time at their desk, so make a space that you feel most comfortable in, be it on your bed or in a bean bag. If you do prefer a desk, make sure you set your space out in a comfortable and productive environment, with the stuff you need most in the right place. If your desk isn’t big enough, don’t be afraid to get creative – you never know what you can achieve with a few extra bits from your local Target or Wilko like shop can help extend your space (as a graduate, I’m currently writing this post on a converted wardrobe desk, which proves creativity should never stop). The most creative I’ve heard so far was my regular work partner who set up his printer in his unused sink and spread out the rest of his Music Tech setup on top of his in-room fridge, leaving his desk as room for his Macbook!
So how have you all set out your spaces? Have you been allowed to go wild or had to come up with creative hacks to make your room your home away from home? Feel free to share a comment down below!